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The Battle of Clothesline Bay

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OK, so in trying to find pictures of the Australian clothesline in the last post, I found this great website of copyright free newspaper articles from old Australian newspapers.  So much fun.  Be expecting stuff from here for a long time!  And, if you happen to know a European, Canadian, American or anyplace else equivalent, please let me know.   Remember, 100 years ago – EVERYONE line dried their clothes!  There’s bound to be lots of stuff in the old newspapers!

Taken from Australia Trove:



The neatest officer on the coast- –

Hangs your soils to the whiffletree slat!

“Was the famous Admiral Biittertoast

Who sailed the historical “Derby Hat.”

Flutter the ensign, whittle the screw,

For the neat old Admiral and his crew !


His sailormen were the tidiest tars

That sought renown ‘neath the billowing flags,

As they stood in place on the decks and spars,

With carpet sweepers and dusting rags.

And Monday mornings the sails they’d reef

And iron ’em out like a handkerchief.


“Men,” said the Admiral, “I abhor

To litter my boat with the shot and shell,

And it’s very untidy to go to war

And scent my sails with the powder smell ;

So load the cannon with scouring soap
And sachet powder of heliotrope.”


About this period on the main

Sailed the slatternly pirate. Grimy Dan.

Whose slipshod methods were terribly plain

In the state of his vessel, the “Frying Pan,”

Where- the decks were littered with

bottles and crumbs,

And the masts were smeared with his

gory thumbs.


So the grim marauders of Grimy Dan

Sailed the greasy “Fryiug Pan” into the bay

Where the “Derby Hat,” all spick and span

A-drying her clothes in the offing lay.
“Ho !” cried the Pirate, and  likewise,”Hum!

Edam Schnapps and Jamaica Rum !


“By me bloody yards and my slippery plank.

What is the scent from yon vessel blown?”

“That,’ quoth the bos’n, Terrible Hank,

“Is washing powder and eau de Cologne.”

“Heave-ho, mateys,” said Dan, “and away.

I risk no battles on washing day.”


“Friends,” said the Admiral, “I confess

I’m glad to be. rid of the rude galoots.
They might’ have caused a terrible mess

By tracking our decks with their muddy boots.
Dear me. suds! what a shock it would be
To a shipshape, housekeeping man like me.
So; the “Frying Pan” with her tattered crew,
Like a dingy spectre slunk from the  scene

And the Admiral neat, when the foe withdrew,
Sent a wireless telegram to his Queen :

“I beg to report’, if your Majesty please,
I have lathered the Pirates and scoured
the seas.

-(Wallace Ir-wik in “Collier’s Weekly


One response »

  1. Thanks for the sweet comment on my SMS giveaway post! Sorry, that not everone
    could win!
    I posted the winners on my blog and also emailed them …

    If you would like to order some buttons I would be happy to custom-make some
    for you. Also I even have some bumble-bee buttons in my shop if you would like to take a look …–oder-Bienen-Knoepfe
    There are no lady-bug buttons but I am quite certain that I could make some. 🙂
    Because the toadstools seemed to be the most popular I will include
    a free toadstool button or toadstool sewing pin (you can choose) with every
    order placed until the 15th of June 2011.

    Wishing you a great day and hope to “see” you again on my blog sometime! Oh, and I will also answer your email about the clotheline profile … just give me abit of time. I am still working on answering all those comments from SMS giveaway day and there is so much going on right now that I should take care of that I simply did not have the time yet to write a proper answer. But I will do so! 🙂

    Ms Muffin


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